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2013–Rocker, Lou Reed, dies at age 71. His cause of death is not released, but Reed underwent a life-saving liver transplant earlier in the year. Reed formed The Velvet Underground in the 1960s, who were widely hailed as one of the most influential American bands of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Reed’s biggest hit was Walk on the Wild Side.



312–Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

710–The Saracen invasion of Sardinia begins.

939–Ethelstan, the first King of England, dies and is succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund I.

1275–The the city of Amsterdam is founded in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

1401–Catherine of France is born Catherine of Valois in Paris, France. She was the descendant, consort, and ancestor of kings. A daughter of Charles VI of France, she married Henry V of England, and gave birth to his heir, Henry VI of England. Catherine's older sister, Isabella, was Queen of England from 1396 to 1399, as the child bride of Richard II.

1524–During the Italian Wars, French troops lay siege to Pavia.

1553–Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus is burned at the stake just outside Geneva, Switzerland.

1644–The Second Battle of Newbury takes place in the English Civil War.

1682–The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is founded.

1782–Violinist and composer, Niccolò Paganini, is born. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. He gave many financially successful tours of Europe and Britain in his career. His caprices have been recomposed for piano and orchestra by such composers as Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Rachmaninoff. He was such a virtuoso that a rumor developed he had sold his soul to the Devil for his playing ability.

1795–The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Madrid, which establishes the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1806–The French Army enters Berlin, Germany, following the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt.

1810–The United States annexes the former Spanish colony of West Florida.

1838–Missouri Governor, Lilburn Boggs, issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1858–Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, is born.

1870–Marshal François Achille Bazaine surrenders to Prussian forces at the conclusion of the Siege of Metz, along with 140,000 French soldiers, in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1904–The New York subway system is inaugurated with the opening of the Interborough Rapid Transit system, from the Brooklyn Bridge to 145th Street. Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr., presides. The fare is a nickel and will stay at that price until 1948, when it will rise to a dime.

1907–Fifteen people are killed in the Hungarian half of Austria-Hungary, when a gunman opens fire on a crowd gathered at a church consecration. This would lead to protests over the treatment of minorities in Austria-Hungary.

1913–Tribal historian, Joe Medicine Crow, is born Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird near Lodge Grass, Montana. He will live to be the last surviving war chief of Montana's Crow Tribe. His Crow name was "High Bird," and he recalled listening as a child to stories about the Battle of Little Bighorn from those who were there, including his grandmother's brother, White Man Runs Him, a scout for Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. He served for decades as a Crow historian, cataloging his people's nomadic history by collecting firsthand accounts of pre-reservation life from fellow tribal members.

1914–The British lose their first battleship of World War I, when the British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons) is sunk off Tory Island, north-west of Ireland, by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser, Berlin. The loss is kept an official secret in Britain until November 14, 1918 (three days after the end of the war). The sinking is witnessed and photographed by passengers on the RMS Olympic sister ship of RMS Titanic.

1914–Poet, Dylan Thomas, is born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales. He married at the age of 22, and with a wife and three children to support, he took a job writing radio scripts for the British Ministry of Information. He was an aircraft gunner during World War II, and after the war, became a commentator on poetry for the BBC. The demands of earning a living, combined with a fast-paced and hard-drinking lifestyle, kept his poetic output small. But what he did write was hugely successful. In 1952 and 1953, he toured widely in the United States, drinking, lecturing, and reading poetry in his hypnotic Welsh brogue. He is best known for his Collected Poems and for the radio play Under Milk Wood.

1916–Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son, Emperor Iyasu V, is defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zewditu I.

1916–The first published reference to “jazz” appears in the entertainment industry paper Variety.

1922–A referendum in Rhodesia rejects the country's annexation to the South African Union.

1922–Actress, Ruby Dee, is born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio. She appeared in the films The Jackie Robinson Story, No Way Out, Go, Man, Go!, Edge of the City, Virgin Island, St. Louis Blues, Take a Giant Step, A Raisin in the Sun, The Balcony, The Incident, Buck and the Preacher, Cat People, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, American Gandster, and Steam. She was married to actor, Ossie Davis.

1923–Pop artist, Roy Fox Lichtenstein, is born in New York, New York. He is best known for his paintings in the style of graphic novels, featuring thick outlines, bold colors and Ben-Day dots. An outstanding example of this style can be seen in his work, Drowning Girl, on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

1924–The Uzbek SSR is founded in the Soviet Union.

1925–Water skis are patented by Fred Waller.

1930–Ratifications exchanged in London, England, for the first London Naval Treaty (signed in April), modifying the 1925 Washington Naval Treaty and the arms limitation treaty's modified provisions, go into effect immediately, further limiting the expensive naval arms race among its five signatories.

1932–The permanent home to Pinacoteca Vaticana, one of the Vatican museum galleries, opens to the public. Before Pope Pius XI commissioned the design and construction of the building, the gallery was housed in the Borgia Apartment. Many important religious masterpieces call the gallery home, including Giotto's Stefaneschi Triptych; Raphael's Madonna of Foligno, the Oddi Altarpiece, and Transfiguration; Leonardo da Vinci's St. Jerome in the Wilderness; Caravaggio's Entombment; and Perugino's Madonna and Child with Saints and San Francesco.

1932–Poet, Sylvia Plath, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. She published only two books before her death in 1963: a volume of poetry called The Colossus and Other Poems and the autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, about a young woman's struggle with mental illness.

1933–Pianist, Floyd Cramer, is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He first worked as a pianist for the Louisiana Hayride radio show. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1955, and before long, he was one of the busiest studio musicians in the industry, playing piano for Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, the Browns, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, Don Gibson, and the Everly Brothers. As a solo artist, he had a big hit with Last Date, and was known for his "slip note" piano style, where an out-of-key note slides into the correct note.

1936–Mrs. Wallis Simpson obtains her divorce decree nisi, which will eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, forcing his abdication from the throne.

1938–DuPont announces that its new synthetic fiber will be called “nylon.”

1939–Comedian-actor, John Cleese, is born in Weston-Super-Mare, England.

1940–Gangster, John Gotti, is born John Joseph Gotti, Jr. in the Bronx, New York. Gotti was one of the most powerful crime bosses during his era, and became widely known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant style.

1945–Mark Ryan, of Quicksilver Messenger Service, is born in Jacksonville, Florida.

1945–Actress, Carrie Snodgress, is born Caroline Snodgress in Barrington, Illinois. She appeared in the films Easy Rider, Diary of a Mad Housewife, Rabbit Run, The Fury, The Attic, A Night in Heaven, Pale Rider, Murphy’s Law, The Ballad of Little Jo, 8 Seconds, Blue Sky, and White Man’s Burden.

1948–Léopold Sédar Senghor founds the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1954–Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958–Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, is deposed in a bloodless coup d'état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961–NASA tests the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962–Major Rudolf Anderson of the U.S. Air Force becomes the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane is shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1962–A plane carrying Enrico Mattei, post-war Italian administrator, crashes under mysterious circumstances.

1962–Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, offers to remove soviet missiles from Cuba in exchange for U.S. missiles being removed from Turkey, thus ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1962–The Rolling Stones make their first recordings at Curly Clayton Studios in London, England. The band, which currently consists of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, and drummer Tony Chapman, cut Muddy Waters' Soon Forgotten, Jimmy Reed's Close Together, and Bo Diddley's You Can't Judge a Book (By Looking at the Cover).

1964–Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launches his political career and comes to be known as "A Time for Choosing."

1964–Singer, Sonny Bono, marries Cher, who wears bell-bottoms to the wedding.

1966–Political commentator, Matt Drudge, is born Matthew Nathan Drudge in Takoma Park, Washington. He is the creator and editor of The Drudge Report. Drudge's early life consisted of a series of odd jobs culminating in the position of manager of the CBS gift shop, where he picked up various tidbits of news and gossip. The Drudge Report started as emails to friends; part commentary and part gossip. He began posting his reports to a Showbiz Gossip Usenet group and started collecting subscribers. In March 1995, The Drudge Report had 1,000 email subscribers, and by 1997, the number had grown to 85,000. By 2007, both Republicans and Democrats were working hard to get favorable coverage for their candidates on popular website's home page. At that time, the Nielsen/NetRatings reported that The Drudge Report was getting three million unique visitors each month, which is approximately 1% of the population of America.

1967–Catholic priest, Philip Berrigan, and others of the “Baltimore Four,” protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1967–A chart topper: Expressway to Your Heart by Soul Survivors.

1967–Scott (Richard) Weiland, of Stone Temple Pilots, is born in San Jose, California. Weiland's onstage persona was flamboyant and chaotic and he was constantly changing his appearance and vocal style, as well as his use of a megaphone in concert for vocal effect.

1971–The Democratic Republic of the Congo is renamed Zaire.

1971–Yoko Ono’s art exhibition, “This Is Not Here,” comes to a close at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York.

1973–A 1.4 kg chondrite-type meteorite strikes in Cañon City, Colorado.

1979–Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

1980–The John Lennon/Yoko Ono single (Just Like) Starting Over/Kiss Kiss Kiss is released in the U.S.

1980–Steve Took, of T. Rex, dies due to asphyxiation after inhaling a cocktail cherry in North Kensington, London, England, at age 31. His death is often listed as a "drugs misadventure." He was asked to leave T. Rex in 1969, after several bizarre incidents that included giving himself a vicious beating onstage.

1981–The Soviet submarine S-363 runs aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986–In an event now referred to as the “Big Bang,” the government of the United Kingdom suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country.

1986–The posthumous John Lennon CD, Menlove Avenue, is released in the U.S. It includes rare tracks that had not been previously issued on authorized releases.

1988–Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991–Turkmenistan achieves independence from the Soviet Union.

1992–U.S. Navy radioman, Allen R. Schindler, Jr., is murdered by shipmate, Terry M. Helvey, for being gay. This begins the debate about gays in the military that results in the United States "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy.

1994–Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1995–Former Prime Minister of Italy, Bettino Craxi, is convicted in absentia of corruption.

1997–Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15.

1999–Gunmen open fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan; Parliament Chairman, Karen Demirchyan; and six other members.

2009–Actor, John David Carson, dies in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 57. He appeared in the films Pretty Maids All in a Row, The Day of the Dolphin, Creature from Black Lake, Stay Hungry, Empire of the Ants, The Fifth Floor, and Pretty Woman.

2013–Rocker, Lou Reed, dies at age 71. His cause of death is not released, but Reed underwent a life-saving liver transplant earlier in the year. Reed formed The Velvet Underground in the 1960s, who were widely hailed as one of the most influential American bands of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Reed’s biggest hit was Walk on the Wild Side.

2014–Britain withdraws from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick, after 12 years, four months, and seven days.

2015–Actress, Betsy Drake, dies in London, England, at age 92. She appeared in the films Every Girl Should Be Married, Dancing in the Dark, Pretty Baby, Room for One More, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Intent to Kill, and Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion.

2016–NASA announces the return of the final piece of data collected during New Horizons' flyby of Pluto in July 2015. The data, taking about five hours at light speed to travel across 3.4 billion miles, arrives back at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

2016–Prince Mikasa of Japan, the oldest member of the Imperial Family, dies of cardiac arrest in Tokyo, Japan, at age 100.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Catherine of France; Joe Medicine Crow; Ruby Dee; Sylvia Plath; Carrie Snodgress; Matt Drudge; a meteorite; and John David Carson.

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